The Solar Ready Vets program has already helped place over 17,000 veterans in solar industry jobs and hopes to add a total of 50,000 to the solar workforce by 2020. Solar installers like EcoMark are looking to hire experienced, dedicated employees and have found that veterans can make ideal employees. Now EcoMark has registered with the Solar Ready Vets training program to recruit and hire Army veterans from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO.
The solar industry is adding jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the rest of the US’s economy and solar companies are looking for qualified candidates. The wide range of transferable skills acquired while serving time in the military makes veterans perfect candidates for solar installer and inspector positions. Already 9 percent of the total solar workforce of roughly 260,000 in the US are veterans, according to the Solar Foundation’s 2016 Solar Jobs Census.
“The veterans we have hired to date make great employees and we would like to increase those numbers,” explained Leila Clark, EcoMark Chief Operating Officer. “The solar industry is growing because residents are very open to having the ‘energy independence’ that comes with owning your own solar energy system.”
The Solar Vets Ready program, supported by the Solar Foundation and the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative, provides solar industry job training for active-duty military personal six months prior to military retirement as they transition from the military to civilian employment.
“The best thing about the Solar Ready Vets program is that it gives veterans a new avenue for transition to civilian life. After completing the course myself last year, it is an exciting privilege to pass on my knowledge to this current cohort as the trainer. My extensive experience teaching in the Air Force makes me uniquely equipped to connect with military personnel and convey the material in a way that is most effective for the class,” said Steven Gatchell, Solar Ready Vets instructor at Joint Base MacGuire Dix Lakehurst.
The Solar Ready Vets program is funded with $10 million allocated by the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. In addition to Fort Carson, the program is in place at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst an Air Force, Army and Navy base in New Jersey, Joint Base San Antonio an Air Force and Army base in Texas and the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii.Tweet